Laufenburg to Basel - Two Months of Rhine - CycleBlaze

June 19, 2022

Laufenburg to Basel

We saw the high for today was expected to be 37 or higher, so we got up at 6 am and were biking by 7. Very quiet on the roads. We were actually in a "suburb" of Laufenburg called Luttingen, and when we rode through the town proper, it was very pretty. You can see the town hall here at 7:20 am on the clock.

the Rathaus (town hall)
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The Rhine cuts through the town with Switzerland on one side and Germany on the other. Last night our server told us that were lucky because today is the day they close the roads to cars from Laufenburg to Bad Sackingen starting at 0900. We were already past BS by 0900, so it didn't help us, but a cool idea! BS's claim to fame is its thermal spa, the largest in Europe apparently.

Laufenburg cut by the Rhine
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You can see both flags here and we passed numerous customs houses on each side. There must be hundreds of customs officials along the river on both sides!

Germany on one side, Switzerland on the other
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We started climbing and the views got better and better. The sun however, got hotter and hotter! By 0800 we could really feel the difference.

early morning sun over the town
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Right beside us was the train tracks, then the river bank. On the Swiss side you can see the town lines the river closely.

frequent views of buildings built right up to the river
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Although hot, large parts of our ride looked like this, with shade covering us. Green, shady, and excellent bike paths. At one point however, the Komoot app wanted us to veer off the path and head down towards the river on a fairly steep, narrow, gravel path and then cross the river. We hadn't seen a bridge. Hmmm. We parked our bikes at the top and I trotted down to take a look.  There was a small dock, and a small boat on the other side for a "ferry" crossing. They weren't operational yet on a Sunday morning I guess. So we had to backtrack about 1 km to a real bridge, and then the app figured out what we were doing and away we went on the Swiss side.

green tunnel ahead!
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A very pretty town was barely waking up at 10 am called Rheinfelden. We rode through the town and then found a cafe that was opening up - and in the shade. Since we had left before breakfast, and had less than 20 km now to go, we decided to have a small bite and coffee/tea to wake up.

the beautiful town of Rheinfelden
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Below was our view as we sipped our morning beverage. Ah, life is good!

bridge at Rheinfelden
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The notes I had read warned about the "undulating roadway", but it was actually darn tiring, partly because the sun was now out in force. But there is something soul-sapping about riding down the other side of a hill after just spending 15 minutes trudging up. And then seeing the same elevation gain facing you. Wash, rinse, repeat!

undulating roadway
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Finally we started back towards the river, and were nearing Basel. I thought these solar-powered bike lane lights were pretty cool. Not only a dedicated bike lane, but lights too!

along the river side
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Basel was hot and hopping. Since its Sunday, the residents were out in force. And what do you do when its searing hot and you live on the Rhine in Basel? You buy a little floating thing that is sold in every store, walk about 20 minutes up river, and jump in. The current pushes you downstream (at a brisk clip), you stay on the right hand side (boats are zipping up and down the other side), and cool off until right about where the photo is taken and jump out of the river. I think I will try it tomorrow, after I buy my little floaty thing.

its what you do here
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Charmaine RuppoltNice and looks like fun to float down the river! :)
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5 months ago
Patrick Parnoit was so cool (pun intended)! But we are so glad we tried it.
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5 months ago

I am taking this photo from the main bridge in Basel, a city of over 830,000. This bridge was the only crossing of the Rhine between Rotterdam and Konstanz for over 600 years! That's quite the distance to have no bridge, but I imagine this strong current would have been difficult for them to place the footings.

Tomorrow is a day off to spend in Basel (and float down the river maybe!). What do you think, should I give it a go?

50 KM
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Today's ride: 50 km (31 miles)
Total: 639 km (397 miles)

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David SwordGive it a go Pat … maybe add in a special leap from the bridge ?
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1 year ago
Patrick ParnoTo David Swordsearching for my pink flamingo floaty thing!
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1 year ago